LAGOS LAW WEEK 2021: PANELS TO ASSESS THE CHANGING FACE OF LAW PRACTICE AND SOCIETY

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It was the great American philosopher, Henry Ward Beecher who said, “Laws and institutions are constantly tending to gravitate. Like clocks, they must be occasionally cleansed, and wound up, and set to true time.” 

This truth is not lost on the organizers of this year’s Law Week of the NBA Lagos branch. A number of panel discourses are set to consider these changes in depth and proffer ways of responding in an effective, timely and beneficial manner.

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The 4th plenary session of the conference, for example, will speak to ‘The Changing Landscape of Arbitrator Disclosure Obligations,’ as panelists discuss recent cases and developments relating to the obligation of arbitrators to disclose possible conflicts of interest.     The moderator,  Seyilayo Ojo, will be joined by the likes of Babatunde Fagbohunlu SAN; Mrs Mia Essien SAN;  Mayowa Owolabi and  Mrs Olamide Aleshinloye.

A robust discussion is expected during the 5th plenary session of the conference, as it is about money – or rather, the lack or inadequacy thereof. ‘Financial Autonomy of the Judiciary: Key to Judicial Independence or Ruse?’ is the topic of this session, which will focus on the recent clamour for financial autonomy for the judiciary and examine whether this request, if granted, will deliver the much-desired judicial independence in Nigeria. The moderator for this session is no other than the much-respected Dr Babatunde Ajibade SAN. The learned silk will be joined onstage by the retired Hon. Justice Iyizoba, Y.C. Maikyau SAN, Ekiti State Attorney-General Olawale Fapohunda and Mrs Ayo Obe, former President of the Civil Liberties Organization (CLO).

The future is upon us, and the need to prepare those who will shape that future has never been more urgent. The task of the panelists at the 6th Plenary Session, tagged: “Soro Soke!: Young Lawyers, Minimum Wage, Brain Drain and Professional Development,” will be to discuss contemporary issues affecting young lawyers – especially the question whether there should be a minimum wage, as well as the ongoing brain drain in the legal profession, and the need for professional development. Panelists are expected to proffer suggestions on what should be done to retain and enhance young talent in the profession. Dayo Okusami will moderate this session, as bright young Turks such as Caleb Adebayo, Yimika Adesola and Modupe Odele (popularly known as Moschievous) join SBL Chairman Ayuli Jemide, Femi Banwo of Banwo & Ighodalo on the podium to do justice to this topic. 

The borderless business landscape of the 21st century marketplace will not leave the legal profession untouched – a fact that will animate the   7th plenary session of the 2021 Law Week, which will address the topic: ‘Lawyers Without Borders: Opportunities or Threats?’ Discussants will interrogate the growing trend of lawyers practicing across borders and the likely impact of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement(AfCFTA) on the liberalisation of legal practice on the African continent, and what  opportunities and threats exist therein. They are expected to offer suggestions on how Nigerian lawyers can either prepare for or prevent this liberalisation.            The moderator for this session, Wolemi Esan, will be speaking to Chief Anthony Idigbe SAN, pioneer SBL chair George Etomi, another former SBL chair Mfon Usoro, Mr. Dele Belgore,  SAN and Dayo Idowu.

The 8th and final plenary session at this year’s conference will see a discussion on legal education, professional development, and strategies for young lawyers to develop and flourish in the legal profession in line with the topic, ‘Career Development Strategies for Professional Growth.’  Tobenna Erojikwe will anchor this one, along with such distinguished panelists as Prof. Isa Hayatu Chiroma, SAN, who is the current Director-General of the Nigerian Law School;Dr Adewale Olawoyin SAN, Dr Wale Babalakin, SAN and Prof Gbolahan Elias, SAN.

The outgoing Chairman of the NBA Lagos branch, Omoyemi Akangbe will deliver the closing remarks to bring the 2021 Lagos Law Week Conference Programme to a befitting close.

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